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Cars
26/03/2018

The 250 GT Berlinetta TdF is born again

The car, owned by a Japanese collector, has been restored to its original splendour

After almost a year’s work a new jewel has emerged from the Ferrari Classiche workshops. It is a 250 GT Berlinetta Tour de France, owned for over 25 years by a major collector who decided to restore it to the condition in which it left the Maranello factory in 1958.

The 3.0 litre V-12 engine, designed by Aurelio Lampredi, returned to its original condition

American car. The story of this 250 GT Berlinetta TdF began in the United States - in California, to be precise. It was one of a stock of cars shipped overseas and that once in the US was shared out among the dealers. In the second half of 1958 this car ended up in Hollywood where it was bought by Russell Cowles, a gentleman driver from Minnesota, who used it in various club races in New Mexico, Texas and Arizona. At the end of the season Cowles decided to go up a level and the 250 GT Berlinetta TdF proved up to the challenge as he recorded three wins in Phoenix and one in Plains.

The interiors of the car were returned to their original beige 

Sale. At the end of the year, Cowles' exciting results persuaded him to return to California to trade in the 250 GT Berlinetta TdF for a 250 Testa Rossa, the car that was dominating the world's closed wheel races. The Berlinetta changed hands several times and was also used in a number of races by Josie Von Neumann, one of the fastest drivers in America and daughter of John Von Neumann, the West Coast sales representative and personal friend of Enzo Ferrari. The car’s final outing of its racing career was at Santa Barbara in 1964 with Carter Phelps at the wheel.

The expertise of the Ferrari Classiche team can be seen in the smallest details

Colour change. The 250 GT Berlinetta TdF was sold in 1989 after many years in the hands of an American collector. It was soon restored and repainted in Blue of France and Black. Four years later it was bought by the current owner who has taken it to numerous events in Japan.

The car was returned to its original state, with a Chinese Red body

Two-stage restoration. Ferrari Classiche had already restored the car’s engine to its original condition, after which the car took part in a number of events in Italy and Europe. Then, the day after the Cavalcade Classiche in May it was again left at Maranello, which completed its full restoration. The car was thus returned to its original state with a Chinese Red body and beige interior. After a little less than a year, it was returned to its Japanese owner.